Author: Markovits, Benjamin
A twelve-year-old boy comes to terms with his parents' separation and moving from New York to Texas by joining the basketball team at his new school.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 508828
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/19)
School Library Journal (01/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2019 Twelve-year-old Ben is quiet and reserved. He is content in his New York City apartment, but his workaholic dad and overprotective mother aren’t getting along. After his dad is transferred to London, Ben and his mother move to Austin, Texas, to live with her mother. Ben has no say in the decision and feels miserable from all these changes. Making matters worse, Ben has to share a bedroom with his mother in Granma’s small house and his mother will be teaching at his middle school. Understandably upset, Ben debates moving to London and resists making friends. While eating lunch alone on a bench, Sam, the school’s groundskeeper, befriends Ben and teaches him how to shoot hoops well enough to join the school basketball team—as a manager, anyway. Unfortunately, the other boys on the team bully him, but an opportunity at the excitingly written playoff game helps Ben begin to find his footing. Markovits nails the feelings of this awkward tween as he navigates his parents’ impending divorce while discovering where he belongs. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Ben is feeling lost when his parents announce they are separating. His workaholic dad is moving to London, and his mom decides to move with Ben from New York City to her hometown of Austin, TX, to stay with his grandmother. Starting over in a new place isn't easy: shy, quiet Ben struggles to make friends at his new school. To make things worse, his mom starts working at his school as a part-time teacher. One bright spot for Ben is shooting hoops during lunch at the abandoned basketball court, where he befriends the school grounds keeper Sam. To get him more involved at school, Ben's mom encourages him to be the manager for the basketball team, which is coached by one of his teachers who is also dating his mom. While he works hard at the job, he finds himself being bullied by some of the kids on the team. Meanwhile Ben is struggling to decide whether he should stay in Texas or move to London where his dad has told him there is a special school for American kids. While the pace of the story is slow, the author paints a realistic picture of a family in transition and their nuanced emotions as they figure out a new normal. VERDICT A moving coming-of-age story that will bring hope to those going through times of transition.—Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga Public Library System, OH - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.